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I have a new 2020 Bolt with the internal fast charger capability. What are the advantages of buying a level 2 charger versus simply using a 200/240 volt outlet. Apologies if this has been addressed before.
 

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@Stevechssc a level 2 charger cord (technically the charger is in the car that converts AC to DC) will allow you to get the full 32 amps that the Bolt's on board charger can handle. The level 2 unit will require a 240V hookup either by an outlet or hardwired. The other advantage to buying a third-party level 2 unit is the Bolt's supplied charge cord requires an adapter (which someone could misuse) and is only placarded to run on 120V.

Installing a DC fast charger is not a normal residential install.
 

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Copied from the Chevy homepage:

Recommended available 240-volt/32-amp charging unit
Offers about 25 miles of range per hour of charge time† and is the fastest way to charge at home (professional installation required).

Available DC Fast Charging
Offers about 100 miles of range in around 30 minutes of charge time† and is available for public use.
 

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I have a new 2020 Bolt with the internal fast charger capability. What are the advantages of buying a level 2 charger versus simply using a 200/240 volt outlet. Apologies if this has been addressed before.
Your quesion is a bit confusing. A level 2 "charger" uses a 240V outlet. Just a brief recap to clarify...

The "internal fast charger capability" is generally called DCFC: DC Fast Charge. It uses a connector system called CCS Combo. It's a combination of a standard J1772 connector (round 5 pins on the top of the connector) coupled with two DC power pins underneath. Typically DCFC is strictly used for public charging, with very few (and very expensive) options for residential.

"Level 2" uses the Bolt's onboard charger. As XJ12 pointed out it has a maximum capacity of 7.6 kW which is [email protected] Note that "Level 2" always implies that the voltage delivered to the onboard charger is at 240V. "Level 1" is charging at 120V.

Virtually every new EV owner chomps at the bit to buy a high powered Level 2 EVSE to install at home to charge their shiny new gizmo. But often it's massive overkill. Typically the maximum charge speed of the EVSE is designed to recharge the battery from empty to full overnight, regaining a range of up to 250 miles. People rarely drive that much on a daily basis. Unless that EVSE is going to be the absolute only way to recharge the car under all circumstances, a more measured approach is typically warranted.

Your car comes with an EVSE. It's in the back. It plugs into a 120V socket and recharge 30-40 miles overnight. In addition that EVSE can be plugged into a 240V circuit and deliver twice the number of miles. The two levels cost nothing more than getting the EVSE out the back of the Bolt and plugging it into the approrpriate circuit. I always advise testing with the OEM EVSE first to see if it meets your needs. I have a Fiat 500e, and I'm going 3 years in using the OEM EVSE at 120V as my daily charger.

Of course if you determine that there are frequent enough situations where fast charging is needed at home, then go ahead and upgrade your EVSE to a 32A Level 2. All I'm saying is that a lot of folks end up jumping the gun and spending a lot of money on something that is rarely actually used.

ga2500ev
 

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ga2500ev provided a great analysis & summary!

I'd like to add one other consideration to the discussion, that being battery heating and/or cooling. The original equipment EVSE at 120 volt can deal with it, but charging time will be impacted. Using it at 240 volts might well be enough for most.
 

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Just bought a Bolt and ordered this:

EV Charging Station Level 2, Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station (25Ft/32A,220V -240V,NEMA 14-50, SAE J1772) for All Electric Vehicles (NEMA 14-50)


it arrived yesterday, electrician coming soon. Hope it works out.
 

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I bought my 2019 Bolt about a month ago. The week I bought the car, Costco had a Level 2 EVSE on sale for $239 (normally $279, I think). I bought it mainly because I wanted to keep one EVSE plugged in at home, and wanted another one to keep in the back of the car. I've now had the Level 2 charger for a month - in the back of my Bolt - and haven't used it yet. The EVSE that came with the car has met my needs just fine for my driving around town, and has remained plugged in next to my driveway. I anticipate using the Level 2 EVSE when winter is over and I begin pulling my small boat to weekends on a lake about 90 miles from home. I could carry the Chevy-provided charger to the lake, but I'm too lazy to unplug it and put it in the car every time I go there, and I like the reassurance of knowing there's one always in the back of the car.
 

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If you plan on charging away from home, definitely need to get a 32A unit instead of relying on the OEM 12A.


Don't forget to claim the 30% EVSE tax credit for 2020!
 

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I bought my 2019 Bolt about a month ago. The week I bought the car, Costco had a Level 2 EVSE on sale for $239 (normally $279, I think). ...

I anticipate using the Level 2 EVSE when winter is over and I begin pulling my small boat to weekends on a lake about 90 miles from home. I could carry the Chevy-provided charger to the lake, but I'm too lazy to unplug it and put it in the car every time I go there, and I like the reassurance of knowing there's one always in the back of the car.
Make sure to verify that where you are staying at the lake has an appropriate 240V circuit for you to plug the L2 EVSE into before depending on it for the trip.

ga2500ev
 

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Something I haven't read above is how light (gauge) the supplied charger is. It's just 16 gauge and even at 12 amps (120) it gets quite warm. I had purchased the "pigtail" adapter to plug it into a 240V outlet. At 240 V there is no option to control amps (8 or 12) like at 120, and the supplied cord I believe is programmed to put out 16 amps at 240V. At that level the cord gets uncomfortably hot. So I bought a 16 amp 240V charge cord (Duosida on Amazon) for about $200. It has a 12 gauge cord that can handle the 16 amps much better. That enables me to fully recharge overnight. It has worked perfectly these last 3 years for my 2017 Bolt.
 

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Something I haven't read above is how light (gauge) the supplied charger is. It's just 16 gauge and even at 12 amps (120) it gets quite warm. I had purchased the "pigtail" adapter to plug it into a 240V outlet. At 240 V there is no option to control amps (8 or 12) like at 120, and the supplied cord I believe is programmed to put out 16 amps at 240V. At that level the cord gets uncomfortably hot. So I bought a 16 amp 240V charge cord (Duosida on Amazon) for about $200. It has a 12 gauge cord that can handle the 16 amps much better. That enables me to fully recharge overnight. It has worked perfectly these last 3 years for my 2017 Bolt.
The OEM cord always provides 12A whether the voltage is 120V or 240V. The 8A/12A selection is in the Bolt itself, not the EVSE. The OEM EVSE never offers 16A under any circumstance.

It may get warm, but it's at 12A. 16 gauge wire has a 75C ampacity of 15A. So the wire gauge is appropriate.


ga2500ev
 

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Just bought a Bolt and ordered this:

EV Charging Station Level 2, Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station (25Ft/32A,220V -240V,NEMA 14-50, SAE J1772) for All Electric Vehicles (NEMA 14-50)


it arrived yesterday, electrician coming soon. Hope it works out.
Do note that the seller, via the product questions section, writes that this EVSE can be plugged into a household dryer circuit. Not only "NO!" but "HE|| NO!" I see no mention in product details that this EVSE can be "throttled" down to lower currents than 32A. Plugging a 32A EVSE into a 30A dryer circuit is asking to burn your house down. I made these "corrections" to the Amazon questions and answers section.
 

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Isn't the EVSE suppose to detect what the outlet can supply? Meaning if connected to a dryer outlet, it outputs 24A?

Would still be nice if we can adjust the charge rate from the car, like Tesla.
 

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Isn't the EVSE suppose to detect what the outlet can supply? Meaning if connected to a dryer outlet, it outputs 24A?

Would still be nice if we can adjust the charge rate from the car, like Tesla.
Nope. Only the Tesla UMC autocorrects the rate. And it doesn't do it by detecting the input power available.

ga2500ev
 

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Isn't the EVSE suppose to detect what the outlet can supply? Meaning if connected to a dryer outlet, it outputs 24A?
The EVSE can only detect input voltage not current, it doesn't know or care if it's connected to a 15-40 (40 amp) outlet, a 6-50 (50 amp) outlet or a 30 amp "dryer Outlet". In the case of this particular EVSE if it sees 240 volts it will supply up to 32amps current if the car requests it which would cause a problem for a 30 amp "dryer outlet".

It looks like a pretty nice EVSE, especially for $399, hopefully the install manual emphasizes the importance of installing it correctly with the correct support wiring/breaker.
 

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Nope. Only the Tesla UMC autocorrects the rate. And it doesn't do it by detecting the input power available.
The Tesla UMC comes with interchangeable AC cords, and it adjusts the charge rate according to which AC cord is attached. Each type of AC cord has a plug that fits a different socket, and each type of socket is supposed to be wired to a circuit of a specific voltage and current capacity.

If you attach a NEMA 5-15 cord to the UMC, it adjusts to 120V/12A because that's what the electrical code dictates as a safe amount of current to draw from that kind of plug. Similarly, the UMC adjusts to 24A for a NEMA 6-30 cord because the corresponding outlet is intended for a 240V/30A circuit, and you can safely draw only 24A continuously from such a circuit (80% of the circuit's rated capacity).

But the UMC doesn't actually know what the circuit is capable of. If you plug it into a NEMA 6-50 socket that some idiot has hooked up using 18-gauge wiring, then the UMC will still try to draw its maximum of 32A, the wires will melt and the house will burn down...
 

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I'm confused. I thought that if you plugged the OEM evse into 240V (a nema 6-50 for instance) that it would actually charge the car faster than using a standard 120V outlet. Not by that much, but faster than 120V. No?
 

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Your quesion is a bit confusing. A level 2 "charger" uses a 240V outlet. Just a brief recap to clarify...

The "internal fast charger capability" is generally called DCFC: DC Fast Charge. It uses a connector system called CCS Combo. It's a combination of a standard J1772 connector (round 5 pins on the top of the connector) coupled with two DC power pins underneath. Typically DCFC is strictly used for public charging, with very few (and very expensive) options for residential.

"Level 2" uses the Bolt's onboard charger. As XJ12 pointed out it has a maximum capacity of 7.6 kW which is [email protected] Note that "Level 2" always implies that the voltage delivered to the onboard charger is at 240V. "Level 1" is charging at 120V.

Virtually every new EV owner chomps at the bit to buy a high powered Level 2 EVSE to install at home to charge their shiny new gizmo. But often it's massive overkill. Typically the maximum charge speed of the EVSE is designed to recharge the battery from empty to full overnight, regaining a range of up to 250 miles. People rarely drive that much on a daily basis. Unless that EVSE is going to be the absolute only way to recharge the car under all circumstances, a more measured approach is typically warranted.

Your car comes with an EVSE. It's in the back. It plugs into a 120V socket and recharge 30-40 miles overnight. In addition that EVSE can be plugged into a 240V circuit and deliver twice the number of miles. The two levels cost nothing more than getting the EVSE out the back of the Bolt and plugging it into the approrpriate circuit. I always advise testing with the OEM EVSE first to see if it meets your needs. I have a Fiat 500e, and I'm going 3 years in using the OEM EVSE at 120V as my daily charger.

Of course if you determine that there are frequent enough situations where fast charging is needed at home, then go ahead and upgrade your EVSE to a 32A Level 2. All I'm saying is that a lot of folks end up jumping the gun and spending a lot of money on something that is rarely actually used.

ga2500ev
Agree... we owned two leafs, they were charging daily. ~40 and ~80miles. The Bolt can go 4-5 days without charging.
 

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I'm confused. I thought that if you plugged the OEM evse into 240V (a nema 6-50 for instance) that it would actually charge the car faster than using a standard 120V outlet. Not by that much, but faster than 120V. No?
Yes. It would charge twice as fast as 240V is 2 times 120V.

ga2500ev
 

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I'm confused. I thought that if you plugged the OEM evse into 240V (a nema 6-50 for instance) that it would actually charge the car faster than using a standard 120V outlet. Not by that much, but faster than 120V. No?
Faster, but only twice as fast. 240v vs 120v (with same 12Amps)
 
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